Local school offers new career to autoworkers

Local school offers new career to autoworkers (Image 1)

One Nashville school is offering a new opportunity for the more than 2,000 autoworkers who could be affected by the Spring Hill General Motors plant going idle in a few months.  

For now, GM employees are hard at work building the Chevy Traverse at the Spring Hill plant, but many will be laid off when the facility is idled in November.

Spring Hill UAW Local 1853 Chairman Mike Herron says he suspects about 2,200 people will be laid off at that time.

The Salon Professional Academy in Nashville is reaching out to autoworkers, offering a scholarship to those who may want to leave the assembly line for a new line of work.

Lessie Pruitt, co-owner of The Salon Professional Academy, says the school is offering a $5,000 scholarship off the $16,990 tuition for the cosmetology program.

She says their 10-month cosmetology program has a 94% placement rate at top salons.

“Across the United States, the average compensation for a cosmetologist is $50,000,” Pruitt said.

Herron said, “We're deeply appreciative, in fact we're looking for opportunities for our members, and any opportunity that we can come up with that's going to be beneficial and improve their skill sets.”

It may seem like a big departure from the typical skill set used by autoworkers. 

Herron said, “With 3,000 people here at this location, you're going to have quite a variety of people who have different interests.”

Pruitt says it's an opportunity to reach out to people losing jobs in her own backyard.

“We want to change people's lives. We want to change their careers, and who better to start with than the people who are in our surrounding areas,” she said.

The academy has five program start dates throughout the year.

The next one is September 15, and there is another one in November. 

The Salon Professional Academy is located on Old Lebanon Road in the Donelson area.

For more information about the program and how to apply, visit the school's Web site.

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